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Scottish travels broaden the mind

GEOGRAPHY at Perth Academy is a little more than the traditional subject, inspectors found. Pupils can follow courses in geology, travel and tourism, and managing environmental resources and all stress the Scottish dimension - one reason the department has impressed nationally.

Pupils can extend their writing and develop mapwork and atlas and enquiry skills, HMI says. Inspectors were equally taken by the proportion of pupils gaining Credit at Standard grade and A grade at Higher - "consistently well above the national average".

Attainment is good in S1 and S2 and is matched by approaches to assessment and recording.

Kenny Maclean, principal teacher and a textbook author, believes he is not doing anything special and pays tribute to four "hard-working" colleagues. "One of the department's strengths is that we are able to offer a wide range of courses at Higher and Intermediate levels in the senior school and that probably makes a difference. We do quite a lot of fieldwork and seeing the reality is much more important than the theory," Mr Maclean says.

He follows the advice on rotation in S1 and S2 but remains convinced that standards of discipline and homework are better met through regular contact.

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